Saturday, October 3, 2009

No more Midas touch ?

He was once regarded as a man with midas touch. He is yet to yet to lose a test match as a captain. India won 6 ODI series in a row under his captaincy. Every one praised him when India was playing well. But he is feeling the heat for the first time as the captain.

Critics are pointing at Dhoni for India's Champions Trophy exit. They say that he lost his confidence and his approach to game has not been good. India lost only two major tournaments after Dhoni has become the captain. India failed to reach semis in T20 World cup 2009 and Champions Trophy 2009. But the way India lost in Champions Trophy is a concern than the loss itself. Critics say thatDhoni's body language in these tournaments was not good. Even when the bowlers were struggling, Dhoni forgot to go and talk to them.

"I want players who, if I ask them to, will stand in front of a truck", Dhoni's words in his first series as a captain. Everyone started to think that this formula worked really well after India won T20 World Cup in South Africa. Everyone started to believe that India has a great future with the young cricketers who are ready to face any situation. But if we observe the recent games, most of the matches were not high-scoring. There was no aggressiveness in the players. Critics say that Dhoni's formulae don't work in the long run.

Dhoni is the number one ODI batsman. He is the ODI Player of the year. But his approach to batting does not prove that. There is a lot of difference between his approach 3 years back and his approach now. Instead of his aggressive and attacking presence, he builds his innings in singles. He can be a No.1 if he stays in the crease for 25 overs and scores 50 runs. But he has to loose a place in the hearts of the indian cricket fans. One can see Dhoni in almost every advertisement on TV. He needs to concentrate more on the game instead of other forms of revenue. There is this comment, on Cricinfo I think, that 'Dhoni and his team has been playing restless cricket. So, their first round exit in major tournaments gives them the much needed 'rest' and they can spend this time for advertisements'. I think there should be some restrictions on the advertisement policy of cricketers.

One has to blame the media and the fans for taking Dhoni's praise to high levels much beyond than he deserves. And the same fans now hate Dhoni. This is not the case with Dhoni. When one player is playing well, they consider him as god. When the same player fails, they start saying that he did not play well, so we lost the match, he needs to be sacked etc.. Its the fans and the media who need to change first.

Has dhoni lost his midas touch? If you consider the performance, is there no wicket-keeper in India who is better than Dhoni? Is it time for Dhoni to be sacked?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Wall is back

I never expected that Dravid would again be considered for selection for ODIs.
But it came true....
He was named in the squad for Champions trophy probables..
Hope he will be there in the final squad...even if he won't be there, it doesn't matter much...
His experience comes in handy against the short pitched deliveries which most of the current youngsters unable to play...

Anyway it was a great idea to bring back this great player....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

IPL team of the year 2009

Here is an all-star franchise of the 2009 IPL, selected with age and nationality requirements in mind.

Matthew Hayden
The top scorer of the tournament, he showed what Australia are missing in the shortest format of the game. He was typically aggressive but also revealed finesse in his batting that helped him score all around the wicket.

Adam Gilchrist (wk)
He smashed the fastest IPL half century in the semi final and was the key figure in Deccan Chargers’ victory. His keeping was reliable and captaincy shrewd. Perhaps still the best opening batsman in Twenty20 cricket.

Manish Pandey
He played only four innings but his impact was such that he deserves an all-star place. Stylish and unflappable, he proved quick scoring can be done with classical cricket shots. A number three place beckons in this team, the spot he might end up occupying in India’s Test team.

Suresh Raina
He hit a fine 98 but passed 50 only once more, a lack of consistency which reflected Chennai Super Kings’ campaign. He broke partnerships with his economical offspin and fielded sharply in the ring.

Rohit Sharma
He promised much but delivered only fleetingly, a microcosm of his international career. He was perhaps batted too low by Deccan, as he has the ability to score quickly from the outset. A bowling revelation.

AB de Villiers
The in-form South African hit one of only two centuries and was a key figure in Delhi Daredevils’ successful middle order. He took the most catches in the tournament.

Andrew Symonds
A late introduction to the Chargers’ line-up, he had a big influence on the latter stages of the event. His aggression and intent gave Deccan the edge in the final. A big ICC World Twenty could be round the corner.

RP Singh
The top wicket-taker of the tournament, he bowled with guile at the start and finish of innings. He used his variations to good effect and fully deserves his place in the national squad for the ICC World Twenty20 .

Lasith Malinga
His form tailed off in the latter stages, but he was at times unplayable with new ball and at the death. Injury troubles appear to be a thing of the past.

Ashish Nehra
One of many successful left arm seamers on display, Nehra showed his experience in bowling under pressure.

Anil Kumble (c)
He finished as he started, ripping through opposition batting line-ups for very few runs. One of the old guard who showed experience and it seems a safe Twenty20 bet that this is an important factor in Twenty20 cricket.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dream Final

Gilchrist's onslaught against DD took DC to finals, where as cool-headed innings from Dravid and Pandey against CSK took RCB to finals...

The two bottom-placed teams in IPL 2008 are now the finalists of IPL 2009. What a turnaround this for both the teams...

DC Vs RCB, my dream final...

DC has been shaky in some matches but Banglore has been exceptional after KP's departure...

RCB has the upper hand as they defeated DC in their last league match...

But T20 is all about form on that particular outplay the other team, you win...

These two teams have been doing just this throughout the tournament, surprising other teams with superb performances...

Gilchrist, Rohit, Symonds and RP holds the key for DC where as Taylor, Kallis, Kumble and Dravid holds the key for RCB.

Though I support DC, I wouldn't really mind whoever wins the trophy....I just want this final to be simply awesome :)

Go DC..Go RCB..

Delivering when it counts

Two of the great batsmen in the world cricket played superb innings at the right time, in their semis, to ensure their teams a place in the final of IPL 2009.

Yeah, I'm talking about Gilchrist and Dravid.

Gilchrist has been in good touch this season..

It is known to everyone that he saves his best for the finals.

In 3 world cup finals in 1999, 2003, 2007, Gilli played his part in Australia clinching all of them.

But in IPL-2 he delivered his best(hope the best is yet to come) in semi-finals.

Can we see more dangerous Gilli in the final of IPL-2?
Or his innings against Delhi in semis would remain his best?

On the other hand, Dravid has not been not in good touch since he returned from paternity leave.

But he played one of his best IPL innings to take his team to the final.

He used all his experience to produce a classy and important innings.

This is my dream final...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dramatic Thriller

Uff.... What a heart-racing thriller

Another nightmare to KKR

KKR haven't been used to win and they continued to do so even in the matches that they should have won easily

And yesterday it was much more dramatic

Mortaza and Agarkar bowled very good 18th and 19th overs

But poor Mortaza, he conceded 26 runs in the last over with 21 runs needed for DC to win

As a supporter of DC I'm worrying about their bowling options and their death bowling

Fifth bowler has always been a problem

I don't think Gilchrist is thinking of this seriously.....Unless he concentrates on this, it's going to affect them in Semis and/or Final

SA's bowling coach Victor Barnes joined DC as a bowling coach

Can he change anything?

I feel sorry for McCullum....

Can KKR ever win?

Monday, May 11, 2009

India: T20 team to beat

The second edition of the ICC World Twenty20 is less than a month away and most of the squads have been announced. It has been a long time since a major global tournament has started without Australia being favorites, but that is certainly the scenario on this occasion.

India are the team to beat. They are the holders and are even stronger than they were in winning the inaugural tournament in South Africa in September 2007.

The two Indian Premier League tournaments that have taken place since that event have exposed India's players to Twenty20 cricket far more than their rivals and it would be no surprise if India commenced a stranglehold on what could become the most prized trophy in world cricket . Their younger generation of players are getting vital exposure to the format, alongside the world's best players.

Many of those players are India's own. Some overseas stars have lit up the IPL, notably Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Lasith Malinga, but the quantity of Indian star performers stands out. It is telling that Australia's best Twenty20 players have retired from international cricket. Australia might be thinking of calling Hayden and Gilchrist into their side again.

India's T20 world cup squad is full of big hitters . MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Yusuf Pathan and adaptable stroke makers like Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir. Crucially they have bowlers experienced in the format, adept at out-thinking batsmen when the slog is on. Spin is vital in T20 and Pragyan Ojha could be the slow bowler of the tournament.

The short nature of Twenty20 matches means surprise cricket results are more likely and there are of course plenty of match-winners in other squads, but it would be a major surprise if India's all-star line-up did not retain the world Twenty20 trophy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Go DC Go

No heroics from the powerful openers, No front line spinner and Yet, an amazing victory for Deccan Chargers

It was a much needed win for the Chargers

Though Gilchrist failed with the bat, his captaincy and wicket-keeping stood out in the match....

As a DC fan, I wanted DC to win against Mumbai.

But after watching the DC innings, I lost my hopes.

It was Bravo's wicket that kept my hopes alive...

Exceptional bowling from Suman, RP and Rohit...

DC need atleast 3 wins to confirm their place in semis...

Bravo should be guilty of playing an unnecessary shot at that time...

As I mentioned in my comments at other blogs, Mumbai is a very good bowling and batting side. But it failed to dominate the matches....

Yesterday was the best chance for them to win and go to top 4....wrong-shot selection from their batsmen cost them the match...

Mumbai need to win atleast 5 matches to get into semis...It depends a lot on the opening pair....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Nicely Poised

IPL-2 has been different from IPL-1 in a number of ways.

Last year there were many matches where 200 or more runs were scored...but because of the pitch conditions in SA, scores of 200 or more doesn't seem to be possible in IPL-2..

Last year it was batsman's game...this year bowlers, especially spinners, have been superb..

But IPL-2 has been providing what a true cricket fan needs....Most of the matches, though low-scoring, have been thrilling....

IPL has been amazing so far making it difficult to guess the semi-finalists ....

RCB made it much more complex by beating Mumbai...

Every team, except KKR, have to play each of their remaining matches like a final...

A Rajasthan Royals win 2day will make it much more interesting...

I think DD, CSK, KXIP and DC will make it to semis...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What RCB should do?

This is not written keeping in view of today's match...

1. KP and Ryder should open
2. Uthappa doesn't look confident at the top and he has not been aggressive. It will be good if comes down the order, may be at No.5
3. Dravid is the only batsman for BRC to score consistently ...He came to bat when the team had almost lost the match....He can't do anything when he comes to bat in that situation... He should come at No.3...Unfortunately for today's match he is not available...

Finally the batting order should be like this

6.Taylor / B Akhil
9. Pankaj Singh/ Steyn
10. Vinay Kumar
11. Kumble

For today's match, it's going to be interesting who's gonna replace Dravid. Will it be Gaurav Dhiman or Wasim Jaffer?

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Have some relief with Andy Zaltzman's hilarious dictionary of cricket

Found this while browsing Cricinfo.

Oldies Shone on First Day

The much awaited IPL Season 2 has arrived atlast and what a day it was ....

The first day of IPL2 has some surprises and proved that hittig fours and sixes is not that easy on South African soil... The finalists of last year's IPL lost their opening matches. Last year's runners up Chennai Super Kings lost to Sachin's Mumbai Indians. Defending Champions Rajastan Royals were humiliated by Pieterson's Banglore Royal Challengers.

Sachin gave a good start to IPL by winning a match against Chennai super kings in the first match of IPL2... He proved that it's not always about try to hit every ball for four or's about playing according to the situation and pitch condition...In the other match, Dravid did the same....Wickets were falling on one end..but Dravid stayed there till the end and took his team to a comfortable total...Kumble's 5-wicket haul was another highlight of the match between Rajasthan and Banglore...but the match was almost over before kumble came onto bowl...

The credit for Mumbai's win goes to Abishek Nayar and Sachin, and the credit for Banglore's win goes to Dravid and their collective bowling performance...

I wonder why Dhoni did not give Ashwin a chance to bowl....He should have selected an extra batsman then...And also why Albie Morkel was not chosen?

Chennai's most valuable player (also IPL's) Flintoff cost them the match by giving 3 sixes in one over :)

I enjoyed Abishek Nayar's innings and Shane Warne's bowling...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Truly Amazing

Gautam Gambhir is the first Indian batsman to score 300 or more runs in 4 consecutive series.

He has now the highest average(54.07) among the Indian openers.

Since India's home series against Australia last October, he has scored 1269 runs in eight test matches at an average of 84.6, including a double century, four centuries and four half centuries.

truly amazing...isn't it??

Saturday, March 28, 2009

IPL – An international competition?

I don’t think anyone was too surprised when boss Lalit Modi opted for South Africa as the hosts of this year’s Indian Premier League.

As I look outside now from my Yorkshire home, all I can see is grey murky skies, while a fierce wind is bringing huge across raindrops, which are smattering all over my window. It is hard to imagine that in just a few weeks the English cricket season will begin.

The chances are that much of the opening rounds of games will be lost to the weather. Conversely they could be played under glorious early spring sunshine. But that’s the problem with the English weather, you just never know!

With an already crowded domestic and International fixture list, there is no room for manoeuvre should IPL games be lost to the weather. Therefore I think, on this occasion, they made the right choice in picking South Africa.

But what for the future of the IPL?

The switch outside of India, albeit for security reasons, has now made it a truly global game (if it wasn’t already).

After getting a taste for the IPL won’t South Africa fans want too see them again? Similarly English cricket supporters, who only just missed out this time, may feel they should have the chance to stage the tournament?

Talks for an English Premier League were started, stalled and then stopped altogether last year, so why not make the IPL a truly global competition, with different host countries each year? It would make more sense than to have a different 20/20 Premier League for each country, when would they fit the games in for starters?

Teams like Kevin Pietersen’s Royal Challengers Bangalore could be become a truly global brand, with fans across the world adopting them as their favorite team. This could pacify the money men who would fear a drop in TV revenue if the game continued to be played away from cricket-mad India.

I personally can’t wait for the IPL to start, but it will also be interesting to see whether the South African fans take it to their hearts. If it is played out in front of packed stadiums with millions tuning in at home, it may not be the last time the IPL is played abroad.

Guest Post by Tam Mallow

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Villainy continues

He holds the record of standing in more than 100 test matches and the second highest in ODIs. He also holds the record of standing in five successive world cup finals. But this much experienced umpire has a grudge against India. Every time he stands in match played by India, there would be atleast one decision against India. And he continues his villainy even after retiring from the umpiring.

Mr. Bucknor, you have to consider apologizing the indian team and BCCI for your wrong decisions against India instead of claiming that BCCI is the reason behind your retirement.

Anyway one thing that makes me feel happy is that he retired :)
Is there any instance of a retired umpire coming back to international cricket? Don't tell me there is..

Monday, February 23, 2009

Last few days

  1. Yuvraj Singh climbing up the ODI rankings list....can he reach No.1 spot?
  2. Lol at the pilot who halted the play at domestic cricket game in India by landing the helicopter on the cricket pitch thinking it is a landing pad...
  3. Team India unveiled a new jersey...btw it sucks..
  4. Afridi not in the test squad against Sri Lanka... the end of Afridi?...not a good year for him..
  5. Jayawardena scored a double century against 'Pakistan'....back to form?
  6. England humiliated once again by West Indies....what a shame..
  7. Ponting decided not to play in IPL this season...Are you feeling happy KKR?
  8. Steve Bucknor announced his retirement :)
  9. Azharuddin starts his second innings as a politician....all the best Azhu Bhai
  10. Take a bow Adam Vogues ...

PS: Congrats A R Rehman and the "Slumdog Millionaire" team

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why Again?

I thought Pujara would be there in the test series against England....But the luck was not with him....

I told my self then "Don't worry...he will surely be there in the test squad against New Zeland"..... I am once again disappointed as he was left out once again....

What the hell are the selectors thinking?....He has been very unlucky not to be selected even when he is scoring heavily in almost every match...

Pujara should have been selected in place of M Vijay...Dinesh Karthik can open the innings in the absence of one of the regular openers....So I think M Vijay as the reserve opener is not a good choice...

And also Sreesanth in place Munaf Patel should have been the right choice...And the team has only one left arm seamer(Zaheer)...There should have been another left arm bowler...May be RP Singh is the right choice...

Coming to the ODI team, Uthappa would have been a right choice ahead of Dinesh Karthik..

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Indian squad for New Zealand tour

The selectors are going to pick the Indian squad, for two Twenty20s and five ODIs against New Zealand commencing this month, on Feb 13.

I pick the following players....

1. Virender Sehwag
2. Gautam Gambhir
3. Sachin Tendulkar
4. Yuvraj Singh
5. MS Dhoni
6. Suresh Raina
7. Rohit Sharma
8. Ravindra Jadeja
9. Yusuf Pathan
10. Harbhajan Singh
11. Zaheer Khan
12. Ishant Sharma
13. Praveen Kumar
14. Irfan Pathan
15. Pragyan Ojha
16. Munaf Patel

Write in yours....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Brothers did it

Hussey brothers for Australia against NZ and Pathan brothers for India against SL did well to make sure their teams win the game...

Michael Hussey and David Hussey ensured the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy is alive by winning the 4th ODI and levelling the series against NZ with one more ODI to play where as Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan took India to a thrilling win against Sri Lanka in a T20 match. No one might have thought India can win the match until Pathan brothers came to the crease. They completely changed the complexion of the game and won the game for India....

It's a rare happening(on the same day) and it was really nice to see these partnerships....well done Hussey bros and Pathan bros...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why was he left out?

Dhoni, after winning the 3rd ODI and the series, said that the players who did not get a chance will get a chance to play in the next ODI and also said that he is not really looking for the record.

But I wonder why Jadeja was left out 2day?

Is Dhoni looking for the record?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Who's to blame?

Tendulkar was given out LBW 3 times in a row...which all of them should not have been given out...He was declared LBW in the first ODI when the ball was clearly pitched outside the leg stump, he fell LBW again in the second ODI when the ball was missing the leg stump and was again ruled leg-before by Sri Lankan umpire Gamini Silva on Tuesday when the ball was going down the leg side by an even wider margin.

The umpiring was terrible...Wrong umpiring decisions are common but three times in a row that too the same batsman..this is un-reasonable..

It's very disappointing to see Sachin given out by these very poor umpiring decisions...

But Sachin was moving way across the stumps which gave umpires a bit of doubt...But the decisions should be in favour of the batsman when the umpires have a doubt in their mind...

Who should be blamed now?? Sachin for his movement across the stumps? or umpires for their wrong decisions?

By the way why can't ICC implement that referral system in ODIs too??

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

India Vs Sri Lanka ODI Series Preview

India is back to cricket after a gap of 1 month while Sri Lanka have been playing some cricket recently. Sri Lanka started this year with a test series against Bangladesh. And then they took part in a tri-series with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka toured Pakistan for 3 ODIs. SL won all of the 3 series.

India will want to maintain their dominance while the Sri Lankans will certainly be making every effort to take revenge for their 3-2 loss in the ODI series at home against India in Sep'08.

If either team wants to win, the following players are going to hold a lot of the responsibility...


Virender Sehwag - Gautam Gambhir:
This opening duo has been in sparkling form and have given excellent starts most of the times. The opening stands by this pair are important for the series result to go India's way. Sachin may open the innings with Sehwag while Gambhir comes at No.3 . In any case the performance by both of these players will be important for the team.

Zaheer-Ishant :
Both these bowlers are on roll. They have made invaluable contributions in India's wins recently. They are capable of performing in any conditions and early breakthroughs by these bowlers will be important for India to win.

The middle order is strong with Dhoni, Yuvraj, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina. India are without Harbhajan which may give some advantage to Sri Lanka. It is now a good chance for Ravindra Jadeja and Ojha to prove themselves.

Sri Lanka:

Dilshan : Dilshan has been in good form in recent times and his promotion to opening slot against Pakistan worked wonders for Sri Lanka. Dilshan has been a crucial part in Sri Lanka's wins in the recent times. His innings will be an important one for Sri Lanka.

Mendis-Muralitharan : The spin duo has to strike to turn the series in Sri Lanka's favour. Most of the Indian batsmen struggled to face Mendis in India's tour to Sri Lanka last year and in Asia cup. Their attack from both the ends can worry Indian batsmen and help Sri Lanka gain some advantage. Sri Lanka is strong in spin department as India is without their main spinner Harbhajan.

The main worry for Sri Lanka is the form of their captain, Mahela Jayawardena. He did not have a great tour against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Coming to the pace bowling..Nuwan Kulasekara has been in good form..He is the No.2 bowler in ICC ODI Rankings..

I am eagerly waiting for Mendis vs will be a cracker of contest....

My playing XI(India): Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Ojha, Munaf Patel.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

India needs an all-rounder

An all-rounder plays a significant role in cricket.

Kallis for South Africa, Michale Clark and Symonds for Australia, Flintoff for England, Malik for Pakistan, Gayle for West Indies, Jacob Oram for New Zealand, Jayasuriya for Sri Lanka have been playing an important role of an all-rounder in their respective teams.

But India lacks a genuine all-rounder.

Almost all teams have a good all-rounder, but India doesn't.

Along with Kapil Dev, the players Mohinder Amarnath, Roger Binny, Ravi Shastri, Madan Lal and Manoj Prabhakar had the capability to change the game either with the bat or with the ball.

After Kapil Dev's retirement, India has been facing this problem of finding a genuine all-rounder.

Robin Singh shined once but out of the team in a short time.

Agarkar and Sreenath had come into the team as all-rounders but settled as bowlers.

Irfan Pathan was thought to be the perfect all-rounder after Kapil Dev..but he is now a total failure in both bowling and batting.

Currently we have Yuvraj, Sehwag, Yusuf Pathan and some others who can fill the fifth bowler's slot.

But what we need is a specific all-rounder who is very good at bowling.

Ravindra Jadeja who got a place in the Indian team as an all-rounder is all set to prove his capabilities in the Sri Lanka tour.

Let's hope Jadeja proves as a worthy successor to Kapil Dev.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Was the selection good?

Indian selectors, on Jan 18th, announced the squad that tours Sri Lanka in Jan-Feb 09. Out of Ravindra Jadeja, Pujara, Rahane and D Kulakarni who performed well in recently concluded Ranji Trophy, only Jadeja earned a place in the 15-member Indian squad. Dhoni, Sehwag, Sachin, Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj, Zaheer and Ishant are sure selections.

It's a little unfortunate that Kohli wasn't selected despite his good performance. Badrinath is another unlucky one. He lacks the support to perform..Although he had given chances, he did not get a chance to bat most of the times.

Pathan brothers, Raina, Ojha and Munaf have retained their place. Praveen Kumar, who was left out for ODI series against England, has been recalled. A hamstring injury had ruled out Harbhajan Singh's selection.

I am eagerly waiting to see Uthappa back in the team who has been in good form..

The lineup is good but there are some questions to be answered.

Harbhajan was fit during the 2nd test against England and he hasn't played a match after that test. How and when was he injured?

Why are there two left-arm spinners in the squad? There is no right arm spinner in the squad. Either Piyush Chawla or Amit Mishra should have been selected.

Dhaval kulkarni could have been given a chance. He was the highest wicket taker along with Jadeja in the recently concluded Ranji Trophy. He should have been selected ahead of Irfan Pathan/Praveen.

Why is Praveen selected as extra seamer? Why wasn't he selected for ODI series against England if he is considered a quality bowler?

Jadeja has been awesome at domestic level..let's see how he performs at international level....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Australia..Can you retain No.1 spot?

Australia have posted a tempting total for SA to chase in the 3rd test. I don't know if it was a wise decision from Ponting.

SA chased 414 easily in the first test at Perth. SA has been good against Australia in chasing 'big' totals.SA stunned the world by chasing 434 against Australia in a ODI in 2006.

I don't think it won't at all be a problem for SA to chase this total with all of SA batsmen in good touch.

But let's see if Australia can win/draw this match to retain their No.1 spot.